Crumbling Expectations

“But how will you get to the rest of your people?” I asked him, trying desperately to reason with him. “How will you get in contact with them? It’s not like your planet is anywhere near here. You don’t have a ship. You don’t have any kind of device capable of instantaneous communication. I can help you get in contact with them! I can bring you to them!”

“I need no help from you.” Na Fru raised his good arm and began to slowly close his hand. I could feel the stone covering my body begin to tighten, crushing me. Just when I thought it was over, that this was the end, the rock around me suddenly shattered. I dropped to the ground, gasping, my lungs in desperate need of air. I looked up at Na Fru in surprise. He looked as confused as I was. “What did you…?” he started before falling right through the ground.

A fraction of a second later, I felt the ground give out beneath me and I went falling through the floor right after him. But it wasn’t just the ground beneath that was collapsing. It was the entire rock giant. I instinctively tried to swim against the fall and the air was so thick with chunks of rock that it might have actually been helping at first, but soon the rock had all broken into tiny pieces and it had all turned to dust.

I squeezed my eyes and mouth closed to keep the dirt out. It’s not like I needed to see where I was going. I was going down and there wasn’t really anything I could about it. I couldn’t slow myself down. I couldn’t stop the fall. I couldn’t even really protect myself from the impact. There was really nothing for me to do but try not to choke on dust before I slammed into the ground.

But as I started to surrender to the inevitable, I realized I had stopped falling and it had been without any kind of sudden impact. This new revelation was so mind-boggling that my eyes shot open. I was staring down at the ground below me and I had just opened my eyes in time to see Na Fru slam heavily into the dirt. But I wasn’t falling with him. I wasn’t getting any closer to the ground. So, I turned my eyes upwards and saw to my surprise Lu Wu hovering over me. “What the hell is going on?” he asked.

“You’re awake!” I exclaimed with equal parts surprise and glee.

“I got that part.” He looked around with bewildered look, as if he had just woken up, which I guess he had. “What are we doing up here?”

“Well, after the giant-sized giant General made you pass out, Na Fru saved me from being stomped on by making a giant of his own out of rocks. Unfortunately after we defeated the General, Na Fru turned on me,” I summarized. “I’d probably be dead if you hadn’t dissolved the stone giant.”

“Me?” Lu Wu shook his head. “I didn’t do that. I didn’t do anything. I just woke up and I was falling.”

“You didn’t do it? Then who did?”

But we had no more time to ponder these questions because a giant stone hand shot out from the ground and grabbed us before we had a chance to react. The hand pulled us back toward the ground where Na Fru, none the worse for wear from his fall, stood waiting for us. “That was a dumb move, angering me like that. Desperate,” he growled. “I should tear you apart for what you did. And I will. I will squish you into tiny organic pieces of goo…just as soon as you tell me how you did that. How did you destabilize my rocks?”

“He didn’t do it, idiot.” The General suddenly rose from the ground as if he were in some kind of invisible elevator. Na Fru turned toward him and instantaneously snake-like rocks rose from out the earth. The rocks shot out toward the General ready to squash him flat, but the General didn’t move. He didn’t try to get out of the way. He didn’t even flinch. He simply smiled. “I did,” he said and the rocks all turned to dust.

The rock hand holding us dissipated and Lu and I dropped to the ground. I wasn’t sure if I should be relieved or distressed. Na Fru wasn’t going to crush us, not yet at least. But General Zlodeskiy was back and showing a dangerous level of control over his magical horn.

Na Fru was furious. “How dare you!” he roared. “I control the rocks, the stone, the inorganic. You are an organic worm! You are weak, fragile, breakable. You are nothing!”

“I am Zlodeyskiy,” the General said. “There is nothing stronger in the universe.”

to be continued…

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